Who doesn't love a rockin', good book to read aloud to your students? As a language arts teacher, I love reading books aloud to my students. I think the students enjoy the read aloud time just as much as I do. Each summer, I look for new books to introduce into my classroom. I have more time to read books that I think my students will enjoy, create something to go along with the books, and then get ready to hook my readers with a captivating book.
Generally, I teach three language arts classes per day. We always begin our day with our daily grammar practice to get their minds in ELA mode. As soon as we have completed this activity, we transition into our read aloud time. Here are some of my favorite read aloud books that I use in my classroom.
1. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
This is one of my all-time favorite books! Although it is a book that has been circulated throughout classrooms for a while now, it is still a book that students absolutely L.O.V.E.! I remember reading it as a middle school student, so I was more than excited to be able to use it as one of my first read aloud novels my first year as a classroom teacher. Now, 11 years later, I still love teaching it just as much as the first time. The students love the adventure and realness of the book. It portrays two social classes who do not get along too well, but as the book unfolds, they begin to realize how many things they actually have in common. The students can relate to this because of the cliques formed in school. If you have not used this book as a class read aloud, I would highly recommend it for sixth and/or seventh grades. I have created a Novel Study for The Outsiders that I use in my classroom whenever I use this novel.
2. Follow the Drinking Gourd by Jeanette Winter
This is an excellent picture book to read aloud to students in third and fourth grade. It fits in with a study on the American Civil War, so if you teach a Civil War Unit, incorporating this book adds so many dimensions. Originally a folk song sung by slaves, Follow the Drinking Gourd provided a map for those slaves wanting to escape to freedom. In this book, the author cites one family’s journey along the Underground Railroad, using illustrations to go along with the words of the folk song. Students love this book because it helps them understand the process easier. Click HERE to be directed to a unit that goes along with this wonderful read aloud.
3. Lawn Boy by Gary Paulsen
In this short novel, students learn how investing money can pay off big in the long run. Gary Paulsen is a favorite author of many of my male students, so I love to use his work anytime I get the opportunity. This short novel can be used in any classroom when an Economics Unit on supply and demand is being taught. After reading the book, many students try to imagine what they could do to turn a little bit of income into a huge sum of money, based off of a simple summer job. I have created a Novel Study to use with this thrilling book.
4. Glory Be by Augusta Scattergood
I read this novel last summer because I picked it up from our school book sale at the end of the year. Being a newly written novel, I was excited because I would get to share it with my students and it would be a fresh, new book that many had not read. It is set during the time of the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi. It draws on real-life events that create a novel about family, friendship, and making choices that are not always easy to make. My students loved reading this novel because I think they could envision some of the emotions Glory, the main character, had to go through the summer she turned 12. Click HERE for a novel unit to help you introduce this novel to your students.
5. Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
Different. Weird. Out of the box. Suspenseful. Funny. Irrational. Triumphant. Love. These are all words that help describe my students’ thoughts about this novel. Being different does not have to be a bad thing. When Stargirl Carraway walks into Mica Area High School one day, their worlds would be changed forever. My students would laugh out loud at some of Stargirl’s antics. Other times, they would become so infuriated with some of the characters in the book. This is a book that brings out emotions in my students and helps them understand how sometimes being an outsider can be a truly scary thing. I created a PowerPoint Presentation to go along with this novel to access their comprehension as we were reading this novel.
These are by no means the only read aloud books that I use in my classroom. These are some of the read alouds that capture my students’ attentions and engage their minds. These novels lend themselves to great discussions and learning/teachable moments.
This summer, I am linking up with An Educator's Life. Mr. Hughes has provided a linky for anyone to share their favorite read aloud books. To be directed straight to the linky, click HERE.
I hope you have a rockin' good time perusing some read aloud books to use in your classroom.